Thursday, October 07, 2010

"I Care" Evangelism Impact in Eldorado do Sul

We held the latest edition of the "I Care" Evangelism impact, this time in the city of Eldorado do Sul on the other side of the river from Porto Alegre. This time, my son Blake (11 years old) went with me to help out. After we found our way out to the church that was hosting the impact and got set up, I spent the morning leading an evangelism training. Blake ran the powerpoint for me and took pictures (it was interesting to see what he took pictures of!).



After the training, we had a chicken lunch, and then divided up into teams to go out and visit unsaved contacts in the community and put the training into practice. Our team was made up of myself, Blake, an older lady from the church hosting the event, and a middle aged lady from another church in a neighboring town.

We had a bit of a time finding our way, as the older lady didn't know her way around her town very well. Once we finally got into the slum and to the first house, we discovered that nobody was home, and that it was just a couple of doors down from where the older lady lived. She suggested that we go visit her son and his wife, who live in the house behind her. I was pretty reluctant to do this, as I've been in situations before where it turned into a person lugging around an evangelism team to show them off to family and friends. I finally agreed, and I was trying to encourage the middle-aged lady with us to take the lead on the visit. She didn't want to take the lead, as she had never shared her faith before, and asked me to lead out in the first vistit.

We tromped through to the back yard and found a small wooden home and a young couple with a newborn baby. It was obvious that the daughter-in-law did not like her evangelical Christian mother-in-law and that the son, who worked as a motorcycle delivery boy, had completely walked away from his Christian upbringing. We wedged ourselves into the tiny kitchen and I shared my testimony and the gospel with them. The young man was in an obvious spiritual struggle as he heard the gospel. You could see the harshness and hostility slowly melting away from both of their faces I continued to share about God's plan for their lives. The young man rededicated his life to Christ, and while his wife did not make any kind of commitment, she was touched as she heard the gospel in a contextual way from someone close to her own age for the first time, as opposed to only hearing it from her mother-in-law.

After our first visit, we went to the other side of the slum and found a small wooden shack with a middle-aged lady who obviously had a lot of struggles. Our middle-aged partner took the lead, shared the gospel for the first time in her life, and had the privilige of leading her first person to Christ!



It was a wonderful moment, and we arranged to pick the lady up for the service that night. Since there wasn't room for us in the house, Blake and I hung out at the door, and he kept the dog from coming in and interfering with the visit. Afterwards, we headed back to the church for a snack and the closing service.



After a time of worship, the team gave their testimonies about the day. "I", the associational president's wife, who is normally a quiet, reserved person in public, shared about how they went to a home where it became obvious that the person was possessed by a demon. She wasn't the lead person on the team, and it was hilarous to hear her tell about how she was thinking to herself "well I wonder what our team leader will do now!" Then, God gave her courage, and she began to rebuke the demon and command it to leave. They expelled the demon and led the lady to Christ. As they were getting ready to leave, the newly freed believer asked where they were going next, and told them that it was a witchcraft worship center. It was another funny moment as "I" told how she thought, "well if this house was this bad, what's a witchcraft center going to be like!?" However, when they got there, the people inside refused to come to the door, and appeared to be afraid of the believers at their door. Despite their reservations and fears, the team was more than a conquerer and caused fear in the enemy camp!



All told, during the afternoon, 13 homes were visited, 30 people heard the gospel, and 14 of these made decisions to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior.

After the testimony time, I got up and felt led to embolden those present that we do not need to be afraid of the enemy - they should be afraid of us! I encouraged them from the book of Jonah to do BIG things for God and to believe HIM for BIG things (just as Jonah was singlehandedly used to bring revival to an entire city).



It was a great, but tiring day all around, and it was great to have Blake along to help! We got an email a couple of days later inviting us BOTH to come give an evangelism training at a nearby church - that was fun!

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